Marie Yan on Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting
Name: Marie Yan
Course Taken: Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting
Current Job: Content Writer / Copywriter
Job Responsibilities: Writing content for websites, providing the content of promotional materials
Why did you choose to pursue AB Broadcasting?
Part of it was because I’m not very fond of Mathematics. When I was enrolling in college, I asked around which course has the least number of Mathematics-related subjects, and Mass Communication came up in the discussions a lot.
The other part is I have always been inquisitive since I was a kid, so people would always tell me that I would make a great reporter or journalist someday. I think that idea kind of stuck with me, so it’s the first course that came to my mind when I was about to fill out my pre-enrollment form.
Mass Communication was already separated into three courses (AB Broadcasting, AB Communication, AB Journalism) by the time I was about to enroll at the college where I graduated from, though, so I chose AB Broadcasting.
For you, what was the most interesting part of studying AB Broadcasting? What about the most challenging?
I think the most interesting and most challenging would be the production of radio and television programs as well as the occasional live events.
It’s challenging because the process is long and complicated. It takes considerable time and effort to produce a show that would only last for a couple of minutes or seconds, so you need to be patient, diligent, and flexible.
That said, it can be very interesting because you get to take part in the development of a program or event starting from the conceptualization stage up to the actual broadcasting. To see the product of your hard work being watched or listened to by hundreds of people who do not even know you, there’s a sense of fulfillment in it that warms you up.
What kind of activities did you do when you were still an AB Broadcasting student?
We did a lot of production work. We produced TV and radio commercials, radio and TV programs, and we also worked on live events such as concerts and beauty pageants in cooperation with AB Communication students. When there’s an event at school, like student council elections or special seminars for example, we would be tasked with taking videos of the event and interviewing the people involved in it.
Aside from those, we also did a lot of writing. Sometimes, we’d write scripts for news programs and talk shows; oftentimes, we’d write term papers and reaction papers about topics of interest in our field.
What were the things that you learned from taking up AB Broadcasting that you find very useful in your current work?
Adapting to unexpected situations and venturing into unfamiliar territories.
When you’re working in the media industry or other similar fields, there would be times when you would be required to deal with things that you have not planned for or perform tasks that you are not very familiar with. Because of this, you would have to be flexible and resourceful enough to cope in order to keep things running smoothly.
For example, in live productions where there’s a limited number of staff to supervise things, a scriptwriter may also double up as lights man or sound technician in order to continue the show.
In other cases, reporters who have been used to covering press conferences and other typically peaceful events may suddenly be required to cover police operations which may expose you to things you might not be prepared to see or hear yet.
In both cases, you don’t say you can’t do it. Instead, you ask yourself what you can do to make it through.
Do you have to be good in English to take up AB Broadcasting?
Being comfortable with English helps because except for our Filipino subjects, we used English to write essays and term papers, present reports, and participate in graded recitations. Having a strong grasp of English grammar would also help, especially if you’ll be focusing on writing; however, that doesn’t mean that just because you’re not fluent in English, you can no longer be a broadcaster.
Communication skills can be acquired over time. If you’d keep practicing, you’d become more comfortable with speaking and writing in English until it comes naturally to you.
What skills or attributes do you think would come in handy for incoming college students who are thinking of taking the same course you did?
Communication skills. Working in the broadcasting industry or other similar fields would require you to get in contact with different people all the time, so you need to have good communication skills — both oral and written.
As for attributes, I think flexibility, resourcefulness, inquisitiveness, and a taste for adventure would also help.
Do you have any advice for incoming college students who are thinking of taking the course you did?
Read as much as you can. It doesn’t matter if you read books, novels, newspapers, magazines, comics, encyclopedias, or even leaflets as long as you get to learn something new. Someday, you will be able to use what you learned from them to write an article, develop a story, or to engage an interviewee in a meaningful discussion.
Also, if you’re the shy or introverted type, start working on your communication skills as early as now. As a media practitioner, there would be times when you’d have to sit down with high ranking officials for an interview, chase after people who are obviously avoiding the limelight for a simple comment, or mingle with groups of complete strangers for a project you’re working on. If you’ll let your shyness get the best of you, you’re going to have a hard time.
Do you think you chose the right course? Why or why not?
Careerwise, it allows me to work for companies with different specializations, so there are always plenty of jobs to choose from. For example, I’ve worked for companies that are involved in the telecommunications, software, design, and service industries.
Personally speaking, I think it helped me grow as a person because it made me become more open, not only to other people, but to new concepts and experiences as well.